Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
Wael Ghonim
, Entrepreneurship Fellow, Fall 2017
Jake Rashbass, Knox Fellow and Master in Public Policy student

Social Media between Utopia and Dystopia

“The Internet is the largest experimentation involving anarchy in history. […] Never before in history have so many people from so many places had so much power at their fingertips. And while this is hardly the first technology revolution in our history, it is the first that will make it possible for almost everybody to own, develop and disseminate real-time content without having to rely on intermediaries.” ~ Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen¹

“We’re very different…

Banksy, “Flower Thrower”
  • Public attention is a means not a goal.
  • Spend more time engaging your opponents.
  • Read what you disagree with.
  • Stop being extreme and exclusive while advocating for tolerance and diversity.
  • Don’t take part in an angry mob. Take part in a movement that channels your anger into something productive.
  • Make your ego a vehicle for your cause. Do not make your cause a vehicle for your ego.
  • Communicate in a language that people use in their day to day life.
  • Admit your mistakes. Embrace your vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
  • It’s biologically rewarding when you dehumanize your opponents. …

Five years ago, my tears fell as the plane took off. For the first time in my life, I was desperate to leave Egypt, despite not knowing when I would be able to return. A few days prior, a military coup had toppled our two-year-old failed attempt to transition to democracy.

I had lived most of my life as an outsider. I never belonged to a majority. As a child, I was the Egyptian kid growing up in Saudi Arabia, and when I moved to Egypt at the age of 13, I became “the kid who came back from Saudi.”…

Wael Ghonim

A curious Egyptian

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